Staying Safe this Spring and Summer
In 2009, Boston was considered to be the fourth safest city in the U.S. Since then, however, the city has been slipping in ranks – and in safety.
Lately, local reporters and police officers have been busy due to a number of house break-ins, car break-ins, and bank robberies. The headlines this week include, “Robber hits banks in 2 towns, gets away” and “Police Investigating Mom’s Disappearance as Crime.”
Summer is only 2 months away and people should start being more aware of what they can do to be safe in the warmer weather, when open windows and screen doors are a welcome mat for intruders.
Whether you live in the suburbs or in the heart of Boston, here are a few safety tips that will lower your chances of being a victim:
If you’re a homeowner with an alarm system, you probably feel a lot safer when you leave the house for work, to run errands or go on vacation. However, when was the last time you tested your home security system?
Having a home security system isn’t enough; you need to maintain it, test it and review important areas with your family. Try gathering your family and have a “security drill” in order to test everything: the battery, the motion detectors on the windows and doors, and the panic button.
It’s also a good idea to review who is in charge of what: who is going to answer the phone when the security monitoring station calls? Who is going to race home when the burglary alarm goes off and you are at work?
Home security systems will protect your house against intruders, burglars, and even lower the risk of your house being attacked – if it’s working correctly. Testing it regularly is the only way to ensure that you and your family are safe.
If you don’t have a security system, it’s important that you take extra precautions: keep the doors and windows locked at all times when you aren’t home (even if you are outside quickly walking the dog). You can also pick up home alarm stickers and put them on your windows so thieves think you have a security system.
A lot of people use their garage as a storage shed, rather than a place to keep their cars. However, if you’ve been hearing a lot about car break-ins in your neighborhood, you should probably reconsider cleaning out the garage.
If parking your cars in the garage is out of the question, then clean out your car. Start storing GPS, iPods and mobile devices in the glove compartment or trunk. Leaving these expensive electronics out in full few will only tempt someone to break into your car. You also shouldn’t rely on your car alarm to save the day; a lot of purses and electronics get stolen from vehicles at night, when people are sleeping.
In fact, car break-ins are the most common type of crime in the Back Bay. So although it’s a smart idea to keep an extra set of car keys on you, don’t leave them in the car; chances are that a well-experienced thieve will know exactly where to look.
Massachusetts has strict laws regarding weapons. As a result, it’s not a bad idea to learn how to protect yourself using only your body.
For women, taking a self defense class can be an empowering experience; you’ll certainly feel more confident walking around Faneuil hall at night. In addition, taking a self defense class will not only empower you mentally but also physically; you’ll learn how to use your body as a weapon which will encourage you to keep it in shape.
For men, taking a boxing class is a great way to build up the muscles you’ll need if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. Boxing classes will help improve your form as well as physique.
Boston is a beautiful city and the suburbs surrounding it are equally as enchanting. However, it only takes one instance of feeling victimized to ruin the place you call “home.” Take the necessary precautions you need to in order to feel and stay safe this spring and summer.
Sylvia Rosen is an online writer with a background in newspaper journalism. She enjoys writing about parenting, family lifestyles and home services.